NCO Club: Off Topic Discussions => The Lounge - Get A Beer & Just Chatter Away => Topic started by: Rattler on 4 February 2011, 09:11:48

Title: The Boat I Did Not Sink
Post by: Rattler on 4 February 2011, 09:11:48
I have meant to write this article for some time now, but today finally is the right moment, methinks:

I am a vengative person (

This is a strategy I developed in school, where - being one year younger than the rest - I was the object of severe harrassing and bullying. One day a guy from a higher class asked me why I did not e.g. destroy the bicycles of the guys that were bullying me, and I answered that they would beat the shit out of me for that. To which he replied: "But they do that everyday anyway, no?". That made sense to me and I started the same day: One would touch me, I would slit his bicycle tires. One would steal my jacket and throw it into the bin, I would get up in the middle of class, walk over to him and break all his pens (which were expensive those years, he was in for a good rubbing by his parents). Basically: One hurt me, I hurt him double: My revenge measures were always fierce and out of measure from the point of view of parents and teachers, and they were executed without at all regarding the consequences it would have for me.

Adopting this strategy had two effects: Most important effect: After two weeks (and having gone through some heavy beating indeed) the harrassing and bullying stopped, because for the bullies it rapidly became much too expensive to confront the "madman". The other effect was that I had a really bad name with the teachers as I usually used the hours of class, under their eyes, to pay back what I had received (simply because my class mates would not dare to confront me physically in class), so I had a long list of reprimands.

Later in life I refined this strategy: I learned to remain calm and friendly on the outside to people who harmed me in any way and then strike when they least expected it, often much (up to years) later. I remember a guy who set me up in a fraud in the early 80s that cost me all my money, my house, car and everything, left me with a bag on the street. He got free out of the courts (as you in order to sentence for fraud have to prove the fraud is comitted intentionally, which often not is possible to prove in court), and he had written all his patrimony on his wife so I and the other victims could not get a cent back from him. It took me about two years to slowly, gram by gram, buy a significant amount of cocain that I then placed in his car (I had kept a casual friendly contact with the guy because I needed access to get his finger prints on the plastic bag I used) and let the cops know where to look. Result: He got 7 years for drug trafficking and within that time died in prison of a heart attack. He never found out what had hit him (better so, he would have had me killed probably).

So, I always used to keep a mental "black list" of people that would get hit by something one day, and last year I added a guy here in Mallorca: As some of you might recall I got contracted by a couple running a trilingual news site on a handshake basis to work as a news manager for their social network page ( last January and February, writing daily articles about what was on in Mallorca in German, English and Spanish. To make a long story short, I never saw a cent for my whole effort, and the couple played the old "my-wife-contracted-you-you-talk-to-her" and "my-husband-controls-the-budget-you-talk-to-him" game claiming they had no money whatsoever. This was the start of my economic problems, two month working time and desperately needed income lost, from which I still have not recuperated. So far so bad, but what really made me furious (and thats when I start thinking revenge) is that in April they had enough money to buy a small sailing vessel and then went sailing in front of my house every afternoon, basically with running the boat with the money they owed me.

So, I decided that when I don´t get my money (and there is no chance I will ever get it), well, they don´t get to go sailing, and so I decided to sink the boat. The cost for them to refloat it would equal the amount they owed me and satisfy my vengative side. I prepared the execution of my plan by studying a smiliar boat to get a feel for the internal distance of the double hulls, then bit by bit I purchased new scuba gear (mine had got lost when my boat capsized in the big storm in 2009) and even bought an old hand drill to be able to happily drill away under water without making noise (the boat lies right in front of their house). Finally in August I was ready to strike.


But, something made me change my mind: I went with my ex wife Joana to the wedding of her niece, and, as we both find those family clebrations quite dull, we during the dinner decided to take a few hours off and headed for San Telmo (the village I live in) to have a few beers and talk about the old times. When we sat in a bar with view to the sea I showed her the boat, told her the story behind it and explained my plan to sink it to her (I was only waiting for new moon to execute it). Now, Joana is quite the saint, and for religious and philosophical reasons totally opposed to the idea of revenge, and she had some arguments that were sensible enough to make me skip the whole idea:

- First, what had happened was not the fault of the boat: Why harm it instead of the persons responsible?
- 2nd, the old Spanish refrain: "Life and time puts everybody in his place".
- And then, third, she reminded me that I am of the firm conviction that San Telmo is a "magical" place in the sense that you think or imagine something and it will be going to happen (which is true, but I had forgotten about that in my obsession with the couple). She suggested I should simply imagine what I wanted to happen if I truly believed that what I thought would become reality.

Well, with the plan discarded, I did not think about the whole thing anymore, but you would not believe it, end of September, when going to my traditional breakfast bar, I see a lot of people on the beach - and the boat! In perfect state, sitting straight on its sword buried 2 metres into the sand, and one could see instantly that you would need a crane to get it out from there:


About two weeks later, when the strand was cleared, the guy did just that: A "grua" (small crane) came by, lifted the boat on a flatbed and took it to Port Andratx for repairs (the owner and guy who owes me is the one at the rear of the truck in the picture):


I think the whole operation (including a fine from the Coast Authority for contamination of the beach  :D ) cost more or less exactly what he owes me, and I had not to do anything but enjoy the sight...  :D   ;D

So, again its proven: What you think in San Telmo will happen, and Life and Time put everybody in his place.

I think I have changed my attitude about revenge, thanks to Joana.


Title: Re: The Boat I Did Not Sink
Post by: MontyB on 4 February 2011, 09:24:37
You know this is precisely why I love being a Kiwi, no matter what the problem we have one simple solution we beat the shit out of each other and then forget it and get a beer, all that plotting and planning just takes time and life is way too short for that.

Title: Re: The Boat I Did Not Sink
Post by: Rattler on 4 February 2011, 17:12:04
no matter what the problem we have one simple solution we beat the shit out of each other and then forget it and get a beer

That definitely is one of the aspects to take into concern.

Still, where I said "madman" it was literally "Klapperschlange" (in German, it translates to acting mean and attacking from behind with weapons hidden) which instantly became the nickname I was branded to (attacking with the knife hidden, and from the rear, that suited me well, and really!) and then later this nickname persisted to become my call sign in the air force (and - to some extent: Today there are many "rattlers" - for the internet up to today).

When you are small and relatively weak (even today, in training still, I only weigh 59 kg at 1.73 mtrs) it is hard to confront bullies physically: Or you succumb, or you get to them on another angle, that has always been my take, and I am good at that (no wonder, at 55 and with long practice). This is the advice I gave to my sons (and daughter), and as far as I know we are all generally more than peace loving folks with a really (!) long fuse (as long as you dont hurt us over certain limits).

I have not yet developed a strategy on how to explain my change of mind to my children, who of course know the story and my Lessons Learned.

...all that plotting and planning just takes time and life is way too short for that...

Indeed, and that is exactly what I wanted to foster with this post (not according with you in other parts of your post, but with this: Kindergarden behaviour is for 4 years old kids, not for us veterans, we have (or are supposed to have) seen it all and are on top of it!).

This said, I am not advocating "put the other cheek" (or only once, on the second time hit back), that is still - with my mollified personality -  a no-no: Some people need to be confronted, be it from front or behind, so they cannot run their schemes on other peoples expenses.